Sunday, 17 March 2013

Fried Pork Liver

Finally, liver that actually tastes good!

I used to hate liver, and that's really saying something because I like pretty much everything. If someone was talking about being a picky eater, I'd say that I like everything, except for liver. Now I've changed my mind.

You should never give up on a food you don't like after one time, two times, or even a few times. Often, you just need to play around with recipes and find out how to cook it in a way that you think tastes great, and sometimes you just need to get used to the flavour. My problem was that I wasn't cooking it right.

Most recipes for liver call for chicken livers, because apparently they taste the best and have the mildest flavour. I wouldn't know; I've never eaten chicken livers, and as I don't have a source for pastured chicken liver, I doubt I will in the near future. What I can get is beef liver and pork liver. I think they taste pretty similar, except the beef is much stronger. If you have a choice between the two, go with the pork. (I think pork liver is more nutritious anyway, at least in terms of some nutrients.) So when I first started becoming interested in healthy food I took Nourishing Traditions out from the library (and later bought a copy for myself) and I found out that liver is an extremely nutritious superfood. I bought some and had no idea what to do with it.

After combing the internet for recipes and not finding much of anything for beef liver, I decided just to make liver and onions. I soaked the liver overnight in lemon juice and cut it into slices. I started sauteing some onions, and then plopped the liver on top. What resulted was a disgusting, mushy mess of livery slop. It was awful. The liver was leaking liver juice, so the onions were all coated with something like cooked liver puree. (I'm sorry if I'm ruining your appetite; I promise this recipe is much better!) The only way I could choke it down was to mix it with some other mild-flavoured food and lots of (expensive!) bacon. Later I tried making pate, which tasted okay on sourdough bread, but since I try to avoid eating bread as much as possible, this wasn't the best solution.

This time I actually breaded it (not with bread), and it turned out great! The outsides were crispy, the flavour wasn't too strong, and I actually popped a few bites in my mouth as I was packing up the leftovers; it was that good! So to all you liver-haters: bread it, fry it in LOTS of fat, and smother it with mushrooms and caramelized onions (and bacon would also be more than welcome).

Fried Pork Liver with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms


  • 1 pork liver, sliced and dried with paper towels (optional: soak in lemon juice for a few hours or overnight, makes the flavour milder)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (I just ground some dried almond pulp leftover from making almond milk in a coffee grinder)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 box of mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lots of fat, for frying (I used a combination of coconut oil and drippings from a very fatty pork roast, but any meaty, flavourful fat is good. At least half pork or bacon fat it highly recommended.)


1. Saute the mushrooms in a little fat on a high heat until done. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Begin the caramelized onions. Add the onions to a pan with some fat and cook over low to medium-low heat until they turn caramel-coloured (this should take at least 30 minutes). Sprinkle with a little salt near the end, and if they're really sticking to the pan near the end, add a little water or extra fat.
3. Meanwhile, combine the flours, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Mix well.
4. Heat about 1/2" of fat in a frying pan, about medium to medium-high heat.
5. Dredge the liver slices with flour.
6. Place the strips in the hot fat and cook until golden-brown on one side, then flip and cook until golden-brown on the other. Remove finished liver strips to a plate lined with paper towels. This will have to be done in batches; don't crowd the pan. Add additional fat to pan between batches if necessary.
6. Serve liver slices smothered with caramelized onions and mushrooms.
Sorry about the picture, I think I accidentally deleted the ones
I had of just the liver and the liver with mushrooms and onions.
As you can see, I like a lot of mushrooms and onions with my liver. If you run out of mushrooms and onions before you run out of liver, either make some more or increase the amount of mushrooms and onions you cook.

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